In Federal Complaints, Students Fault Sexual-Assault Policies at Columbia U.

Twenty-three students have signed on to three separate complaints, each alleging violations of a different federal law, against Columbia University and the affiliated Barnard College, The New York Times reported.

Among other allegations in the complaints, filed with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, students say that administrators wrongly tell those who file assault claims that they must not discuss their cases outside the confines of the campus disciplinary process, that…


Player Expelled After Rape Allegation and Xavier U. Settle Lawsuit

A former Xavier University basketball player who was expelled over what he said was a false accusation of rape has settled his lawsuit against the Ohio institution, after a judge decided last month that most of the lawsuit’s claims could proceed to trial.

The player, Dezmine Wells, sued the university and its president last August. The suit included claims of sex discrimination and intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other things.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Wells’ attorney, Peter Ginsberg, said the settlement terms are confidential and declined to comment further. University spokeswoman Kelly Leon declined to discuss the case except to say that “the lawsuit has been resolved in a manner satisfactory to the parties.”

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William Peace U.’s President Faces Campus Protests

Students, faculty members, and alumnae on Thursday gathered at the North Carolina university, formerly Peace College, to protest President Debra M. Townsley, the News & Observer reported.

The protesters accused Ms. Townsley, who oversaw the former women’s college’s decision to go coed, of creating a poor academic environment and an atmosphere of retaliation. Five students who circulated a petition demanding Ms. Townsley’s resignation are facing discipline for disorderly conduct and violations of visitation and solicitation policies.

In addition, the faculty has sent an eight-page letter to the Board of Trustees indicating a lack of confidence in Ms. Townsley because of staff turnover, dropping graduation rates, unsecured student records, problems with campus buildings, and other issues.

In an interview Tuesday, Townsley said the university is growing and evolving in a difficult environment for higher education, particularly small private colleges. She pointed out that upperclassmen enrolled when the school was a women’s college, Peace College, before it admitted men and changed its name to William Peace University.

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Princeton U. Will Pay Town More Than $24-Million Over 7 Years

Princeton University said on Thursday that it had agreed to pay the town of Princeton, N.J., more than $24-million over the next seven years. The university, which as a nonprofit organization is tax-exempt, said in a news release that it would make voluntary payments of $21.7-million over the course of the agreement as well as one-time contributions valued at $2.6-million toward several town projects.

The university said its voluntary contribution in the 2014 calendar year would be $2.75-million, and in each subsequent year the university’s contribution would increase by 4 percent. The home towns of a number of colleges nationwide have sought higher payments in lieu of taxes, particularly in the years since the recession clobbered municipal revenues.

Princeton, with an endowment valued at $18.2 billion as of June, is fighting a lawsuit by a group of residents who say the school should lose its exemption from property taxes because it shares royalties with faculty. The school reaped $524 million in license income between 2005 and 2012, mostly from a patent that Eli Lilly & Co. turned into the cancer drug Alimta.

The residents who are suing want the university to pay more, claiming it shares the profits with some faculty while not paying enough in local taxes. University lawyers have argued in the litigation that the payments are a sharing of royalties, not profits, which compensate faculty members for assigning property rights to the school.

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NLRB Will Review Decision on Union for Northwestern U. Football Players

The National Labor Relations Board on Thursday granted Northwestern University’s request to review a regional official’s decision last month that classified Northwestern’s scholarship football players as employees who can unionize.

The players’ union vote will take place on Friday, “but the ballots will be impounded until the board issues a decision affirming, modifying, or reversing the regional director’s decision,” the NLRB said.

The university argued in its appeal that its athletes are prima…


Illinois State U. Rehires Worker Fired After Altercation With Ex-President

Illinois State University has rehired a grounds worker who was fired after an altercation involving the institution’s former president, Timothy Flanagan, The Pantagraph reported.

Patrick Murphy has a new job in a different position—he was hired as a horticulturist and curator of the university’s Fell Arboretum, according to Jay Groves, the university’s chief of staff.

Mr. Flanagan resigned last month and was charged with disorderly conduct in connection with the incident. This week he pleaded not guilty.

Flanagan’s successor, Larry Dietz, decided Murphy “deserved another opportunity at the university” after meeting with human resources and other campus officials and reviewing his full personnel file, Groves said.

Murphy applied for the horiculturalist/curator position that was open because of a retirement, Groves said.

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18 U. of Texas Students Are Arrested After Sit-In Over Shared-Services Plan

The students were arrested on criminal-trespass charges after refusing to leave a sit-in that had been staged outside the office of William C. Powers Jr., the Austin flagship’s president. The students were protesting a shared-services proposal that could eliminate 500 staff positions, mostly through attrition, by consolidating operations in areas such as finance and information technology. It is estimated the plan will save the university as much as $40-million annually. The proposal, like one at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, has also drawn objections from some faculty members.

More than 100 faculty members signed a letter to Powers this month urging the university to abandon the plan. The letter questioned the potential for cost savings and argued that more staff members are needed, not fewer of them.
University spokesman Gary Susswein said that no final plan has been approved.

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American Academy of Arts and Sciences Names 204 New Members

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences on Wednesday announced the election of 188 new fellows and 16 foreign honorary members. The 204 individuals in the 2014 class of members are prominent men and women in the sciences, the humanities, and the arts, as well as philanthropists and business leaders. Full listings of the new members, broken down alphabetically and by discipline, are available on the academy’s website.


Contingent Faculty at Seattle U. Can Vote on Union, NLRB Official Rules

A regional official of the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that contingent faculty members at Seattle University are eligible to vote on forming a union.

In a decision handed down last week, Ronald K. Hooks, the NLRB’s director for the Seattle region, rejected the Roman Catholic university’s argument that it is too religious to fall under the federal labor board’s jurisdiction as a result of contingent faculty members’ drive to form a collective-bargaining unit affiliated with the Ser…


Public Sees College as More Than Just Job Preparation, Report Says

Rhetoric from policy makers may focus on the need to ensure that college graduates are competitive in the workplace, but students, faculty members, and others engaged in higher education take a more expansive view of the value of a degree, a new report from the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forums Institute suggests. College, they said, shouldn’t be just about picking up job skills but should expose students to new ideas and diverse fields and should encourage critical thinking.